Would Bruce Lee stand a chance against MMA fighters?
Lightning fast punches, kicks that can break multiple ribs and a style like no other on the planet, Bruce Lee is the legend that everyone can’t help but love. We know that he was extremely skilled. But would he hold up to a real life practical MMA fight with some of the greats?
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Of course, many would believe that he would have a chance but others also say that he just wouldn’t hold up in today’s forms of fighting. But let’s look at the facts.
MMA is a sport that allows for the users to utilize by definition mixed martial art forms in order to best their opponents. The best fighters are so well trained that they are able to pivot between the fighting styles instantaneous, all while taking on their opponent and planning out their next move. To some, it may look like two people just going hand in hand with each other. But in reality, it’s a hefty amount of strength and diligence that goes into being able to successfully compete as a professional MMA fighter.
Bruce Lee was a martial arts master. Now, understand one thing, Bruce did not just hone his skills from one fighting form. He would take immense time to perfect his craft through intense training methods. Doing this, Lee was able to come close to absolutely perfecting the art of Wing Chun and his creation of Jeet Kune Do. He studied heavyweight boxing and even studied the footwork of Muhammad Ali rigorously. What does all of this mean? This means that his inclusion of practicality through his strength, endurance and flexibility training, Bruce Lee was preparing himself for more than theoretical matches. He was a force to be reckoned with. Fighters all around who study the art of fighting and then make their way into the ring are known for failing a few times before they can put their theory and practice to the test.
This isn’t the case for Lee. Lee had years and years of training and then he chose to build them even further. Surpassing that of which he was not satisfactory with when it came down to his wing chun. This is not to say that MMA fighters do not follow similar routines. MMA fighters are known for their intense training and sparring sessions as well. Endurance, weightlifting and other forms of training help them become the champions of their class.
But when it boils down to Bruce Lee entering a competition with MMA fighters, the debates are all over the place. Some say that Bruce Lee was mostly theory and that he did not do enough hands-on practice in order to truly compete and be a viable opponent in his weight class of MMA. There is some truth to this but not the truth that many people would have argued. The only portion of the thought that Bruce Lee would have a difficult time with the MMA world is exactly just that. It will be fairly difficult getting acquainted to the fighting styles of his new opponents, but this isn’t uncommon amongst MMA fighters. This is what they do. They study their opponent’s styles and then strategize their offense and defensive moves and counters.
Bruce Lee was a genius. He was such a skilled trainer that came from the roots of one of the grandmasters of the arts, Yip Man. He was able to study so many forms of martial arts and then turn around and be able to effectively teach others. It is one thing to know how to do something but when you are able to reach it and have others learn how to improve upon your teachings, that is when you are most definitely have a clear understanding and mastery of the craft. This is why Bruce Lee would stand a significant chance at becoming an MMA champion. In fact, he possibly would have ended up as one of the deadliest fighters around. The only thing that could have held the master of the arts back would be the rules of the game. And we all know how crazy the MMA rules can come into play when an intense battle is taking way. Sometimes those scores can be very misleading and favors an opponent when the clear victor is now the one going home with a loss. This has been seen time and time again, match after match. But they are still there for the safety of the fighters. The thing about Bruce Lee is that when he competes he competes with the highest convictions of his skill level.
In 1964, Bruce Lee found himself in somewhat of a controversial private match with Xingyiquan master, Wong Jack Man. There was a situation to where the Chinese community was issuing an ultimatum for Bruce Lee to stop teaching non-Chinese people martial arts. Simply put, if he lost, he would have to close down his school and if he had won, he would be allowed to continue on his practice. Lee was not going to just back down. I mean, who would? Wong went on record saying that the ultimatum was not the reason for their match and that he wanted to challenge the man who said that he could beat anyone in the San Francisco bay area.
When the time of the match came, all was fine and well, but it was said that Lee was aggressive in his attacks. Wong said in a report that Lee allegedly thrust his hand as a spear, aimed at Wong’s eyes leaving him on the defense. Wong, nonetheless, asserted that he refrained from strikingly with killing force when the opportunity presented itself because it could have earned him a prison sentence but used illegal moves himself. Lee was serious about owning up to his words and this resulted in him winning the match, just as he said he would.
Bruce Lee’s confidence is what helped drive his skill level. This same confidence is known well in the MMA world and sports all around. When you know that you have the skills and determination to deliver upon your words, you most likely are to succeed in doing exactly that. So, the question is asked; would Bruce Lee stand a chance against MMA fighters? The answer, most definitely yes.
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